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Gildwiller1918

NSKK Uniform

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For those who don't know, the NSKK stood for the Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps or National Socialist Motor Corps. This organization was of a paramilitary nature as most organizations of the Third Reich. The organization started as early as 1923 when the brown shirts or the SA - Sturmabteilung required transportation for Hitler's personal guard. In 1928 the SA created the Kraftfahrstaffeln which were motor squadrons, however these lacked organization. Martin Bormann, in 1929 made a suggestion to Hitler that the party would greatly benefit from a nation-wide pool of motor vehicles and trained drivers as a show of strength and to allow for rapid mobilization if needed. Hitler, happily approved and directed Bormann to create the organization. 

In 1930 the National Socialist Automobile Corps (NSAK) was started, and was technically considered a auxiliary organization, which fell under the jurisdiction of the SA. All senior commanders of the NSAK were SA officers, while most members of the NSAK were civilians. In 1931, the NSAK was re-organized and renamed the NSKK and now held equal status with the SA. Interestingly enough members of the SA were automatically members of the NSKK, however this did not apply in reverse. In 1933 when the NSDAP rose to power, the SA and NSKK expanded rapidly with the NSKK swelling to 30,000 members. After the night of the long knives in 1934, the SA was merged with the NSKK which now was an independent formation of the party and its ranks now held 350,000 members. In 1938, with the incorporation of Austria, the ranks now held 500,000 members, with its leader Adolf Huhnlein elevated to Reichsleiter der NSDAP which was the highest party rank. 

In 1939 Hitler created the SA-Wehrmannschaften (SA Militia) which was basically a draft in which all eligible men aged 18 were to join prior to military service. The NSKK's role in this was to train the military's mobilized units at various locations in the Reich. By the time of the invasion of Poland in September of 1939, the NSKK had amassed a large amount of motor transportation and had contributed to the construction of the West Wall or Siegfried Line to counter France's Maginot line by supporting Organization Todt. The NSKK also supported Albert Speer in construction projects and aided in traffic control in Poland in 1939. However by the time of the "Phony War or SitzKrieg" the need for support organizations had been reduced dramatically. So the NSKK was re-directed to aid the relocation of racial Germans from the Baltic regions to Poland which fell to the NSKK Kommando Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle which was under joint SS/NSKK control. 

The campaigns of 1940 and 1941 increased supply and logistics dramatically as occupied territory stretched from France to Russia and Norway to North Africa. Its war time mission was defined as: 

1. Pre and Post military training of German males aged between 18-45 in mechanical skills to provide recruits for motorized and armor elements of the military.

2. The training of Hitler Youth aged below 18 in the same areas as previously listed above.

3. Train army engineers and assault engineers in handling of marine assault craft (this was expanded later to include Hitler youth boys aged 16-18).

4. Aiding the military and Org. Todt with motorized transportation.

5. Raising and training of non-German volunteers for Motor transportation duties.

6. Assisting the German Police in traffic control.

7. Operation of motor boat companies on main river arteries as auxiliary waterway police. 

So basically the NSKK was responsible for all transport inside and outside of Germany, and ran accident reporting in conjunction with the Red Cross. The NSKK also supported the air raid service and provided drivers for salvage operations. The NSKK also supported every agency that worked for the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenburg, which was unit set up to collect art from across Europe which reported to the RSHA/SS or main security office of the SS. In 1942, this office ordered that NSKK drivers that worked for them wear SS ranks that were equivalent to the NSKK. Overall the members of the NSKK were all male, however as the war dragged on, womens were allowed to serve as NSKK Kriegskraftfahrerin, however they were civilians and wore a lapel badge and not a uniform. Also foreign volunteers enlisted at a surprising rate, especially from Holland, Belgium and France. These volunteers were mainly assigned to motor transport units of the Luftwaffe. 

I apologize for the long winded stuff above, but the NSKK is often a very obscure organization that is not well known. Anyway, onto the Uniform.

Here is a NSKK Tunic and Breech set. The tunic, which was introduced in 1936 was an olive-green color which had a dark brown collar with two breast and two hip pockets. Enlisted ranks had un-piped collars whereas officers did. An olive green shirt and dark brown necktie was worn underneath the tunic. The collar tabs were black, similar to the SA design with rank to wearers left and unit to the right. In this case the rank is that of Scharfuhrer or Corporal, and the unit is 2/M 78 which stood for Motorsturm 2 of Motorstandarte 78 which was located in Ansbach. 

Like the SA, the NSKK wore a single shoulder board for most ranks, and had a colored piping to indicate which group a member belonged to, in this case sulphur yellow which indicated he worked in the Franken Region. Additionally, since these colors were used for other regions, to differentiate, the use of numerals on the shoulder buttons was needed. For this region the number "1" was used. 

On the left arm was the NSDAP armband for party members. Non party members wore a similar armband, however in place of the swastika, the NSKK eagle was present instead. Below the armband was the national driver's diamond or Kraftfahrraute. This device was worn by all members of the NSKK regardless of training levels. However when the war started, only those who held operator licenses were entitled to wear the badge. On the right sleeve was the NSKK insignia eagle worn between the shoulder and elbow. 

Typically a black leather belt and metal buckle was worn with a shoulder strap as well.  The black breeches were normally worn along with black riding boots, however during the war, enlisted personnel were allowed to wear black straight leg trousers as well. I will add other items that will complete the uniform at a later date.

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Here is an example of the NSKK armband, which worn by non-party members versus those that belonged to the NSDAP. Photo found on internet. 

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Here are some examples of the female drivers badge I found on the internet. There is no current explanation for the colored background of the badges. 

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The NSKK was often assigned to assist the police in traffic control. The traffic education service (Verkehrs-Erziehungsdienst) served this purpose, and when on duty NSKK personnel wore gorgets that said: NSKK VERKEHRS ERZIEHUNGSDIENST with the NSKK eagle in the middle. Also the NSKK men were issued a NSKK version of the traffic lollipop stick. Below are imaged from the internet that show examples of this. 

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Very nice, I have seen a few NSKK sidecaps around not so long ago, they were not super expensive, I was almost thinking of getting one.

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NSKK items in general are not easy to obtain here in the US. More often you see cloth insignia, but sometimes headgear and uniform items appear, however they are usually expensive. Good hunting on the side cap Fritz!

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The lot that I saw has since been all bought up, they didn't sell that quickly, but one by one they went. There were various backing colours, and various ranks, some had the later simple pebbled buttons, the others had the special pattern NSKK buttons. They were in all, priced somewhat under value.

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If they were underpriced I can see why the sold off pretty quickly. NSKK items are kind of rare, and highly sought after by collectors. Side caps are somewhat still available however if you are looking for a certain rank or region color it can tough to find what you are looking for, not impossible though.

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Here is a NSKK great coat, this coat has the same yellow piped shoulder strap as the tunic listed above, however the collar tab shows 2/17 which meant 2nd company of the 17th standarten, in this case Gleiwitz, which fell under Motorgruppe Oberscheisen. This is correct for the period of 1934-1941, and no numeral was worn on the shoulder button. As stated earlier, similar colors were worn by different groups however they were distinguished by the numerals on the shoulder board buttons. As the war dragged on, some groups were consolidated into others. This coat has the RZM tag located in the interior pocket flap. The rank is that of Truppfuhrer which was considered a NCO rank similar to a Feldwebel or Staff Sergeant. The coat has the the sleeve eagle, drivers badge and party armband, and is in excellent condition. 

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Very good. Condition is superb. Most uniforms now on offer are moth-eaten, threadbare and with old repairs. It is also very difficult to match items to the same unit, unless they came together, or they are put together.

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Yes I agree Fritz, I try to get the best condition possible. NSKK items are hard to find, especially in this condition. And it seems NSKK items are also gaining in popularity as the prices are only going up. Finding good quality items that have not been altered is a real challenge today.

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Here is another NSKK Collar Tab, 14/M 81, which was 14th Motorsturm or Company of Motorstandarte or Regiment 81, which was based at Regensburg, part of Gruppe Bayernwald.

 

 

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